Setzer Tone w/Axe-FX

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by GAD, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

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    Anyone getting good Setzer tones with the Axe-FX? I've gotten close enough that no one cares but me, but, well, I'm sure you know the rest. :) What I have sounds great, but it's just not *there*.

    I have researched Brian Setzer's rig to the nth degree. I know he puts special tubes in his '63 Blond Bassmans so they behaves more like JTM-45s. That little tidbit actually got me closer than anything, but I think a huge part of his tone is that damn Roland Space Echo, not only delivering the repeats, but driving the amp as well. i know what mics he uses and where he places them. I know what speakers he uses in his cabs (Celestron V30s)

    Sadly, it seems as if every piece of gear he uses isn't included in the Axe-FX.

    '63 Fender Bassman
    Roland Space Echo RE-301 (doesn't use chorus)
    Blonde 2x2 cabs (I've gotten close here since he uses V30s)
    50' instrument cable (OK, I don't expect that to be modeled. :) )

    The Royer 121 is in the Axe, but the AT AE3000 is not.

    Here's a clip or two from his Live in Japan DVD. Killer tone:





    And before anyone says "It's a gretsch and a Fender", I assure you that's not enough. :) I have a Gretsch Setzer SSLVO, and I've owned my share of vintage Fenders, though never a Blonde Bassman. Yes it sounds great, but it doesn't sound like his rig does.

    I looked at the Redwirez stuff, but I don't think it's going to get me what I'm looking for.

    Here's a pic of his rig from his '09 Christmas tour:

    [​IMG]

    Such a simple rig, and such an elusive sound.

    Now it's entirely possible (likely even), that my Axe-FX skills aren't up to the task, so that's why I'm here. Have you manage to nail that killer Brian Setzer tone? I know I don't have his fingers, but my fingers don't suck... much. :)

    And yes... I'm obsessive.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  2. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

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    Anyone get close to that killer Setzer tone?
     
  3. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    Killer tones and style.... but not my flavor of ice cream... sorry.

    Didn't want you to feel like your topic was being ignored. I've just got nothing to share.
     
  4. CyberFerret

    CyberFerret Member

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    GAD - Have you asked over at the Fractal Forums as well? Lots of enthusiasts there that can probably give you pointers...

    Setzer just plays so cleanly - seems to hit the strings lightly yet gets a big sound. I assume it would be hard to nail his tone without emulating his picking style too...
     
  5. fieldhdj

    fieldhdj Member

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    From what I've read, Setzer's tone is a weird calculus. If the amp isn't challenging enough, Billy Zoom insists that the 60ft. cord Setzer uses has an effect, and the 20K input of the 301 makes it work - along with the relatively low impedance of the Filtertrons.

    I've got a custom built 6G6-b circuit with 2x12 Celestions. My modern 6120 with the amp volume on 5 gets close enough for me. I have used a Brain Seltzer or a Keely modded TS for fun, but that just gets a little of the color, if you know what I mean.

    Any way you slice it, its a tall order!
     
  6. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks guys. I'll ask over on the Fractal forum.

    Setzer's definitely got a deft touch. I can keep up with some of his stuff, but I learn a ton every time I work to learn one of his songs. The guy's an underrated master IMO.
     
  7. Funky54

    Funky54 Member

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    I am sorry, I'm not a fan of synthetic gear. I think you need a real deal tube amp in the ball park with dual 12's. I think you need a real deal hollow body with filtertrons. I think you need a good tape echo and most likely the roland 301's preamp pushing.

    I would check out Gretsch Talk forum and look for the many threads on this subject. http://www.thenocturnebrain.com/video.html

    As a substatute for the 301 preamp you may want to look into the Brain Seltzer or dyno pedals made by Tavo or wired turtle.
    http://www.gretsch-talk.com/forum/pedal-pushers-forum/37428-nocturne-get.html OR http://www.gretsch-talk.com/forum/pedal-pushers-forum/37919-nocturne-question.html

    Its a great sound. I hope you find something you like.
     
  8. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

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    I'v been reading Billy Zoom's stuff for months. :)

    I actually just bought a Brain Nocturne just to see if it would get me that Roland boost. We'll see. I hate to have to put a pedal before the Axe, but I'll try anything. Plus, the limited edition Red pedal is damn sexy.
     
  9. Dancing Frog

    Dancing Frog Member

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    Well, that's an interesting challenge. When Axe-FX doesn't have it, it's time to go deep editing.
     
  10. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

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    Yeah... I don't think I've got the skills to pull that off. I've tweaked the JTM-45 amp and gotten some pleasing results, but I don't know enough to take it further.
     
  11. Dancing Frog

    Dancing Frog Member

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    Have you tried substituting in a Fender tonestack? This will give the JTM more of a Fender flavor. Go to the amp geek menu and set the tone location to "pre," since that would be vintage configuration. I also set the presence frequency to 1495Hz which matches the Bassman. You have three vintage Fender tonestacks, Brownface, Blackface, and Blues. Mess around with those and see what you think?

    I have been enjoying messing around with Brownface. It seems transparent enough, but the Blackface is more transparent. The junk seems to come through, and it's a little warmer than Blackface.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  12. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

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    Nice tips - thanks! I"ll do that when I get home.
     
  13. djd100

    djd100 Member

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    There's no reason the Axe couldn't get a ballpark version of this setup?

    a) Use your choice of the vintage Fender models in the Amp Block.

    b) Use Redwirez R121 Cap Edge/V30 on one side of the Axe's Stereo Cab, another Mic on the Cone on the other, mix so that the R121 provides the detail, the other mic the depth and bottom.

    c) Put a Delay in front of the amp and filter out it's top end (filter the regeneration path too if possible as the delays should get darker as they regenerate).

    d) Put a Spring Reverb Block in parallel with the Delay in front of the Amp Block.

    e) Use the Tape Drive Block post the parallel Delay and Reverb blocks to hit the front end of the Amp Block hard.

    f) If need be, simulate the long cable with a PEQ in front of everything that rolls off the top end.

    That should get you close...

     
  14. RockinB23

    RockinB23 Member

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    I'm sure you have probably seen the Nocturne Brain Preamp pedals that Tavo makes?? Those and the Boss RE-20 with the right amp have gotten me close enough to be happy.
     
  15. ZepFuzz05

    ZepFuzz05 Supporting Member

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    I've always thought his sound here sounded extremely similar to this (minus the obvious slapback echo effect on Setzer's tone):

     
  16. dhdfoster

    dhdfoster Silver Supporting Member

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    I have thought about this before. I think that clip sounds all that similar, but some of Page's tones do. Setzer's tone is more of a rock tone than rockabilly to me. Filtertrons are humbuckers. A bassman from that era isn't worlds apart from what Marshalls became and the Celestions are a British sounding speaker. He also plays brutally loud, as I've experienced it from the first row.

    If your quest is the Setzer sound, I think going AxeFx is taking the long way around and over compliating it. If you already have one as your rig and your just looking to get some Setzer tone out of it, that's a different story.
     
  17. octatonic

    octatonic Member

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    Tend to agree.

    I have an Axe FX and love it but I also play in a rockabilly band in London.

    I've never managed a good rockabilly tone from the AFX- although I have to say I don't spend a lot of time working on it.
    When I do the rockabilly show I get a slightly overdriven tube amp (I used to use a '62 Bassman but now prefer a 65 Soho to keep the levels down on stage), a bit of slap delay and that is pretty much it.

    If I turned up with a digital processor to that gig I would probably be asked to come back later once I had come to my senses.
     
  18. Ben R

    Ben R Member

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    Honestly, I'd be stunned if someone couldn't come up with a close tone in the Axe FX. ...Especially if you play a hollow body guitar through it. I'd be totally stunned.

    Bassman sim (mess with the tonestack). Possibly put a tape drive in front. Use a spring reverb. Have a slapback delay set up. "4x10 Bass" stock cabinet (or, possibly mix in or substitute some of the Redwirez and/or Ownhammer aftermarket IR's). Bam!

    I can't imagine that it would be that hard to do. As good as Setzer's guitars usually sound, more complicated tones have been nailed. I'd be shocked if you didn't get there by asking people at the Fractal Audio Axe FX general discussion forum, or their "Share and Request Patches" forum.

    .
     
  19. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

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    I already have an Ultra. I bought it to simplify. I could go buy a vintage blonde bassman and do it right, but dammit, the Axe-FX can do everything else I want!

    It's not that simple. Setzer's Blond Bassmans are nothing like the '59 modeled in the Axe. His amps are more like JTM-45s than '59 Bassmans. My current Setzer preset is based on the JTM and sounds much closer than I could ever get with the '59.



    Post of the year right there! This made a huge improvement! Thank you so much - this is just the type of knowledge I was missing. The phrase "like lifting a blanket off the amp" is so over-used, but man, that's what it sounded like when I made these changes. The jangly shimmer is there now that I couldn't replicate before.

    I went and put in the tape-delay recommendations from the Axe-FX wiki, and I'm so much happier with this preset now.

    I have a Nocturne pedal being delivered this week. I'm interested to see what effect that has on this preset. The routable effects look on the Axe-FX makes this a dream possibility, though I hate the idea of stuffing a pedal into my rack case. :)
     
  20. Deaj

    Deaj Member

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    Once you have the Nocturne pedal in hand you may be able to find a way to duplicate the sound in the Axe-FX. There are so many tools to work with that I can't imagine it not being possible.
     

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